Frittata Gran Paradiso and a Rose

A study of complementary wine and food pairing


After tasting several roses last week, I was struck by how perfect each one would be for a specific dish I had in mind.  Some were obviously light and bright, perfect for salad or seafood; others had some real depth and heft, making them the right choice for chicken or pork dishes. One wine really made me think: It was lightly smoky, putting me in a bacony state of mind.  It was also so soft and luxurious that I could easily see it being dominated by assertive dishes so my thoughts ran to like foods. After all, one of the food and wine paring principles I adhere to is to either complement or contrast the wine and food. This was definitely a case for complementing.

And then it hit me. This wine was a brunch wine, a wonderful way to greet the day with a nice quiche, or in my case frittata. A touch of bacon, a touch of Italian Fontina and we were on our way. Smoky to smoky, soft and luxurious to soft and luxurious. Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a winner.

What to expect: Rosé

Rosé wines are made from red grapes that have had the period of "skin contact" reduced to limit the extraction of color, tannin and certain flavoring compounds. The results range from barely copper colored to vividly ruby toned, light-bodied wines with crisp fruit flavors that often recall watermelon and red-berried fruit.
Being Italian, I tend to prefer Italy's version of many French dishes -- pizza instead of pissadaliere, pesto in place of pistou, and an easy frittata in place of a quiche.

Being practical I also see the value in keeping some of the elements of a recipe that have proven to work. In this case, bacon and cheese, the stuff that makes that Quiche Lorraine so Lorraine, are a natural match for a quick and easy preparation.

I usually have some Italian Fontina lying around but you should feel comfortable with any cheese you prefer. Following the technique of the recipe is more important than using the exact ingredients, so be creative and create the frittata that will make you happy. This version makes me happy and in a nod, almost, to France I’ve named this frittata: Gran Paradiso.


  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ tsp finely ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup crumbled or cut bacon, (fry off the bacon to your liking before measuring it)  
  • 1 cup Italian Fontina cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs, black pepper and salt together.
  • Heat a 12-inch sauté pan, over medium heat. When it’s hot add the butter and allow it to melt. When the butter has begun to simmer add the bacon and toss to coat, then add the egg mixture.
  • With a wooden spoon stir the cheese and green onions into the egg mixture. Continue stirring until the bottom of the mixture begins to set.
  • Remove the sauté pan from the stove and place it in the top third of the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 10 minute or until the eggs are firm.
  • Allow the frittata to cool somewhat before plating so that it firms up slightly.

Pairing a soft and luxurious wine with a soft and luxurious dish

2007 Shoestring Rose of Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 13.3%
Really coppery colored. Light aromatics are faintly smoky and meaty with some nuanced floral hints supporting notes of raspberry and cherry with a suggestion of tropical, orange toned fruits. The nice, mouth-filling, yet soft texture is very attractive and supports gentle notes of herbal-tinged baked orange and cranberry.

Frittata Gran Paradiso
This frittata has the soul of a Quiche Lorraine yet forgoes the crust and turns out to be an easy complement to Sunday brunch or a great addition to a buffet meal. I prefer to serve the frittata still warm from the oven. The aromas of bacon and aromatic Fontina val d’Aostana can be absolutely intoxicating, and are worth the minimal effort required for this dish.

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: LBurdick
    167636 1

    ComplEment, not complIment

    Sep 11, 2009 at 9:07 PM

  • We do enjoy our frittatas...we enjoy it Swiss chard...the beauty of the frittata is the "spur of the moment" ingredients. Pairing wine is part of the fun!

    Sep 11, 2009 at 9:14 PM

  • ComplEment or complIment it sounds awesome and I'm having it for brunch now on Sunday.

    Sep 12, 2009 at 2:51 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thank you LBurdick.

    I've made the correction.

    twhighbanks you've got that right, certainly a great use for odds and ends or whatever tickles your fancy.

    Finewinefran - Thanks very much! Let us know how it goes!

    Sep 12, 2009 at 9:15 AM

  • 13.3%...gee...I think of rosé (or rosado here in Spain) as a 'light' wine! Is there pressure these days to make wines as alcoholic as is possible? does seem so.

    Sep 12, 2009 at 9:45 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Hi Roger,

    I don't think of 13% as unusual for a rose from a warm climate.

    I have had Roses at and above 15% that were horrid. This wine was balanced, which of course is the key, and held it's alcohol well.

    Sep 13, 2009 at 9:48 AM

  • Snooth User: Jnet64
    192111 17

    Thank you for the Yummy sounding recipe! My Italian Nona used to make What she pronounced Freetah for us all the time. She told us that as a child, that was what was generally cooked on Sundays and how many of the leftovers were used. Her recipe is close to yours, she added Spinach, Mushrooms and bread crumbs...and any feasible left-over. It was a dish we Great Grandchildren asked for over and over again. Wonderful Memory!

    Sep 15, 2009 at 10:49 AM

  • Snooth User: joss
    Hand of Snooth
    73889 990

    nice, simple recipe. a few good ingredients, cooked quickly but well, easily interchangeable w/ whatever's fresh in your fridge and pantry: the essence of my favorite kind of italian.
    i usually only pay attention to the wines. i never realized you put in recipes as well, greg. thanks!

    Sep 15, 2009 at 11:27 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks very much. Recipes like this are what life should be about. Quick, flexible, easy to share and pair with wine.

    Joss we've just started adding recipes. You can expect a new one every Friday! Of course each one will be paired with a specific wine as well.

    Sep 15, 2009 at 11:39 AM

  • Snooth User: Natalie Kronick
    Hand of Snooth
    125803 166

    I have to stop reading this article because all it does it make me super hungry and want to go on a picnic, NOW!

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:49 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Let's go!

    Maybe someplace in Connecticut. I have a few friends who would be interested as well!

    Sep 17, 2009 at 12:36 PM

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